Pennsylvania is among the states hit hardest by the coronavirus, with 1,907,314 unemployment claims filed from March 15 to May 20. But Centre County, in the very middle of the state, is suffering less than other places.
Its economy is largely driven by Penn State University, which has not engaged in extensive layoffs.
Will that continue if students do not return to campus in State College the fall?
“I would say that Centre County is going to be able to serve itself during the coronavirus,” said James Tierney, an assistant teaching professor of economics at Penn State University.
Some companies, including Wegmans and Walmart, are still hiring in the county. Only at the start of this month did Penn State begin furloughs at 50-percent pay. The university hasn’t laid off employees so far.
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